Would these make good hibernaculums?

Dedicated exclusively to field herping.

Moderator: Scott Waters

Post Reply
User avatar
ThatFrogGuy
Posts: 743
Joined: April 15th, 2011, 12:29 pm
Location: Southern Indiana
Contact:

Would these make good hibernaculums?

Post by ThatFrogGuy » August 4th, 2011, 3:10 pm

Image

Image

User avatar
Bryan Hamilton
Posts: 1217
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 8:49 pm

Re: Would these make good hibernaculums?

Post by Bryan Hamilton » August 4th, 2011, 4:26 pm

Maybe. The sites look too shaded, low and poorly exposed to me. It depends on what you're looking for though. There could be Coluber, Nerodia and Pantherophis using these sites. Crotalus and Agkistrodon I would say no. In southern Ohio I liked to be higher on the ridges and look for rocks without moss on them. Lichens are OK but moss is bad. Tree species will also tell you something about your site. You want to avoid beech and sycamores and look for oaks and hickory. Timing of course is everything. Hibernacula (plural of hibernnaculum) are usually deserted this time of year with the possible exception of gravid females.

Think a little higher on the ridges. It doesn't take much rock ( often there are no visible rocks) for pretty big snakes to utilize.

What species are you focusing on?

User avatar
ThatFrogGuy
Posts: 743
Joined: April 15th, 2011, 12:29 pm
Location: Southern Indiana
Contact:

Re: Would these make good hibernaculums?

Post by ThatFrogGuy » August 4th, 2011, 4:35 pm

All those you listed would be fine. Crotalus or Agkistrodon would be sweet but I doubt I will find either soon. I'm pretty much a noob when it comes to snakes...all I can find are Nerodia :lol:

User avatar
Bryan Hamilton
Posts: 1217
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 8:49 pm

Re: Would these make good hibernaculums?

Post by Bryan Hamilton » August 4th, 2011, 4:46 pm

Its easy to get drawn to the big rocks but sometimes less is more. Make sure you're out in the field during late April early May. Its a magical time in the midwest.

User avatar
Mike VanValen
Posts: 2074
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:41 pm
Location: Connecticut
Contact:

Re: Would these make good hibernaculums?

Post by Mike VanValen » August 4th, 2011, 6:50 pm

Ehhhh. It's possible that ratsnakes may use this. Is there water nearby?

I'm gonna take a guess and say there's water somewhere on the other side of the rock jumble in the first pic.

User avatar
Bryan_Hughes
Posts: 73
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 9:39 pm
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Contact:

Re: Would these make good hibernaculums?

Post by Bryan_Hughes » August 4th, 2011, 8:52 pm

I'd try to go further up the hill to more sun exposure and smaller rocks; not as much moss and better conduction.

User avatar
Fundad
Posts: 5721
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:11 am
Location: Los Angeles County
Contact:

Re: Would these make good hibernaculums?

Post by Fundad » August 5th, 2011, 12:26 am

I wouldn't look there (at least on the side photod), unless I was looking for Salamanders, or in the middle of July.. :lol:

Fundad

User avatar
Fieldnotes
Posts: 1472
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:12 pm
Location: Orange County, CA
Contact:

Re: Would these make good hibernaculums?

Post by Fieldnotes » August 5th, 2011, 1:39 am

That looks too shaded for snakes.

Im with Fundad... looks great for salamanders

User avatar
Jason B
Posts: 525
Joined: July 30th, 2010, 10:48 am
Location: KY: Woodford Co.

Re: Would these make good hibernaculums?

Post by Jason B » August 5th, 2011, 4:03 am

I often see copperheads around habitat like that here in Kentucky. In fact, that looks just like the habitat where I found a half-dozen chunkheads several nights ago. Take a powerful light and slowly shine around and under the rocks after dark. I imagine there is atleast a garter snake around there. This time of the year in our part of the country I find more snakes in forested then exposed areas.

Are the rocks on a south-facing slope? When the trees are leafless that area may get enough sun to be a prime spring and fall basking spot.

User avatar
ThatFrogGuy
Posts: 743
Joined: April 15th, 2011, 12:29 pm
Location: Southern Indiana
Contact:

Re: Would these make good hibernaculums?

Post by ThatFrogGuy » August 5th, 2011, 5:07 am

Mike VanValen wrote:Ehhhh. It's possible that ratsnakes may use this. Is there water nearby?

I'm gonna take a guess and say there's water somewhere on the other side of the rock jumble in the first pic.
Yep, to the immediate left of it is this small quarry pond. It usually has more water than this but it has been pretty dry. You can see the same pile in the upper left.
Image

View from the other side
Image

Also just a little past the pond there is a creek.
Bryan_Hughes wrote:I'd try to go further up the hill to more sun exposure and smaller rocks; not as much moss and better conduction.
There is a hill very close to these sites, I'll head up soon and see if I can find anything better.
Jason B wrote:I often see copperheads around habitat like that here in Kentucky. In fact, that looks just like the habitat where I found a half-dozen chunkheads several nights ago. Take a powerful light and slowly shine around and under the rocks after dark. I imagine there is atleast a garter snake around there. This time of the year in our part of the country I find more snakes in forested then exposed areas.

Are the rocks on a south-facing slope? When the trees are leafless that area may get enough sun to be a prime spring and fall basking spot.
I honestly have no idea, I didn't have a compass with me, I'll have to check that. I think it would get a fair amount of sun during spring and fall.

User avatar
Fieldnotes
Posts: 1472
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:12 pm
Location: Orange County, CA
Contact:

Re: Would these make good hibernaculums?

Post by Fieldnotes » August 5th, 2011, 5:28 am

Fieldnotes wrote:That looks too shaded for snakes.

Im with Fundad... looks great for salamanders

I guess that it is okay habitat for snakes. Goes to show how different the behavoir is from east coast snakes and those from CA.

User avatar
DaneConley
Posts: 481
Joined: September 21st, 2010, 9:03 am
Location: SE Virginia/SW Illinois

Re: Would these make good hibernaculums?

Post by DaneConley » August 5th, 2011, 5:31 am

I would take notes on everything then do research on it. There has to be some part of the rock that is exposed to the sun. If it is exposed it would be amazing habitat. The creeks would bring some racers and most likely nerodia. Copperheads may use that. Just find non mossy parts of it. It couldnt hurt to check in the fall. To see if the sun is on the rocks.

User avatar
Jeremiah_Easter
Posts: 353
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 9:48 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Would these make good hibernaculums?

Post by Jeremiah_Easter » August 5th, 2011, 6:56 am

My initial reaction is that it does look too shaded and and wet, but when it comes to Timber Rattlesnakes, I have been twice surprised. The first was when I was shown a densite in Virginia that was under completely closed canopy when exposed areas where available nearby, and the second is coming in an upcoming HN article which describes timbers hibernating in some very wet places.

User avatar
Fundad
Posts: 5721
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:11 am
Location: Los Angeles County
Contact:

Re: Would these make good hibernaculums?

Post by Fundad » August 5th, 2011, 7:55 am

You guys go ahead and check those rocks, I am going to run up the ridge and try and find more density... :lol: :mrgreen:

Fundad

User avatar
justinm
Posts: 3423
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:26 am
Location: Illinois
Contact:

Re: Would these make good hibernaculums?

Post by justinm » August 5th, 2011, 8:52 am

I disagree with the elevation comments. A very well known Timber den in So. Illinois is at the base of some bluffs. I agree with the shade, but if this pic is in full Summer, it might not show the whole story. They do like dappled light in hardwood forests.

Here's a pic of the hibernaculum, as the base of a bluff/ridge.

Image

Timber is coming out of the den. It's apparently shared with Cottonmouths, as both went in after the flash of the camera.

Post Reply